Charlton AthleticSport

“It was like we’ve never played football before” – Lee Bowyer’s frank assessment as Charlton are humbled 4-2 by struggling Burton Albion


Charlton’s eight-game unbeaten run ended abruptly as they were humbled 4-2 by League One’s basement boys Burton Albion.

The Addicks gifted their struggling hosts a two-goal lead as errors from Chris Gunter and Ben Amos led to goals from Lucas Akins and Joe Powell inside the opening 40 minutes.

QPR loanee Paul Smyth halved the deficit with his first Charlton goal just before the break but the Brewers regained their two-goal advantage as Sam Hughes scrambled home shortly after the interval.

Substitute Chuks Aneke, who replaced an ineffective Omar Bogle after just 34 minutes, hauled the visitors back into the game once more with a spectacular bicycle kick on 67 minutes.

But Charles Vernam made the game safe for Jake Buxton’s side just nine minutes later as the home team won for just the second time this season – a result that saw them climb off the bottom of the table.

Charlton remain in the top six despite defeat and head to Ipswich Town –  directly above them – in the table on Saturday.

Bowyer said: “Poor from start to finish. Too many people just going through the motions. No matter what league, what country, you can’t give teams, no matter where they are in the division, a two-goal headstart. The two goals we gave away were just individual errors. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Aneke brings Charlton back into the game with a stunning bicycle kick. Kyle Andrews

“I’ve never seen it before myself. Complacency? Sloppiness? Maybe because we were unbeaten in eight we thought we could just turn up to games and win? It’s not that simple. Football isn’t like that. I just reminded them in there. I’ve reminded a few of them that ain’t acceptable and it will never be acceptable, not playing for me.

“I think we had one of these crazy nights before, at Scunny two years ago [a 5-3 defeat]. We just gave amazing goals away all the time. I said to Jacko [assistant boss Johnnie Jackson] when they got their third one that it reminds me of that game on that Tuesday night. It was just unbelievable. It was like we’d never played football before. It was just crazy.

“Conor Washington came on and he could have had a hat-trick. He was only on 20 minutes. He should have had a hat-trick. The game should have been about 7-7.  It was just not a normal game of football. I can’t put it down to anything. It’s just not like us at all. The worst thing is, it was the most senior players who were doing it. Who’ve been in the game forever.

“Put it to bed and get ready for the weekend. Another away game, third away game in a bloody week. We will revisit tonight’s performance. But they won’t make those mistakes again in the whole season.

“Disappointing because we had an opportunity. We’re in a good place. Unbeaten in eight and then we go and do that. Didn’t see that coming at all.”


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